Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins

Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand

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Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward James Neal will have a phone hearing Monday, according to the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Neal was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins. The Penguins’ forward was skating up the ice when he clipped Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand with a knee.

Marchand had been tripped to the ice and was on his stomach when it appeared Neal intentionally hit Marchand with his knee.

“He’s already going down and I guess I need to try to avoid him, but I have to look at it (on replay) again,” Neal told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”

Neal scored seven seconds after his penalty expired, giving the Penguins a 2-1 lead at the time. The Bruins came back with goals one minute and 16 seconds apart to record a 3-2 win.

Zdeno Chara scored the winner with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.

Because Neal’s hearing is over the phone and not in person, any suspension he receives can’t exceed five games.

He does have a history of supplemental discipline. He received a one-game ban in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. In 2009, as a member of the Dallas Stars, he was handed a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Derek Dorsett, as per NHL.com.

Video: Bruins’ Eriksson suffers concussion after Orpik hit

Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins
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Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson suffered a concussion after he took an open-ice hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman just 11 seconds into Saturday’s game, according to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

The hit occurred as the puck was coming around the sideboards. Orpik pinched off the point and hit Eriksson just as he had turned his body back up ice. Eriksson left the game and did not return.

Orpik was not assessed a penalty on the play.

That touched a dirty opening period, in which Orpik was later taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was taken to the ice and punched multiple times by Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton.

Thornton, who had previously challenged Orpik to a fight, was assessed a match penalty. He also has a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety – a fact he confirmed after the game.

Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins
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Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward James Neal could also be facing supplemental discipline for a kneeing incident on Boston Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand.

The incident occurs about five seconds into the video below. Marchand is tripped up, and while he’s on the ice, Neal skates by and looks to intentionally clip Marchand with his knee.

Neal was assessed only a minor penalty for kneeing. He came out of the box and scored seven seconds after his penalty expired to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Immediately after the whistle, a scrum ensued in the Pittsburgh zone. It was then that Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton took Brooks Orpik to the ice and threw multiple punches, resulting in the Penguins’ defenseman being taken off the ice on a strether.

Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins
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Brooks Orpik was stretchered off the ice in the first period of Saturday’s game between his Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins.

Orpik was grabbed by Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton, taken down to the ice and punched in the head, including when the Penguins’ defenseman was on the ice. The incident occurred during a scrum, after Penguins’ forward James Neal had been called for kneeing.

On the first shift of the game, Orpik delivered a hard open-ice hit on Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson, who left the game and will not be returning. Thornton challenged Orpik to a fight immediately after his hit on Eriksson, and Orpik continued with his shift.

Thornton received a match penalty, and could be facing further disciplinary action from the National Hockey League.

Bruins’ Eriksson heads to dressing room after hard Orpik hit (Updated)

Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins
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Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson took a heavy hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and went off to the dressing room.

The hit occurred early in the first period between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

The 28-year-old Eriksson has five goals and 14 points in 23 games in his first season with the Bruins.

Updated: Eriksson will not return to the game, as per the Bruins’ official Twitter account.